Forehand and Wadsworth identification help

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Old Wheelgun, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    I have had this gun since 1988 when it was given to me by my mother in law. It's a Forehand and Wadsworth top break 32 S&W revolver 6 shot. Haven't shot it but I had it out last year to look at for the first time since I acquired it. I was organizing my safe the other day and decided to take it out for the first time since last year to clean it thoroughly along with the other guns she had given to me. Since I never shot any of those guns she gave me, I only cleaned them when i got them and wrapped them up and put them away. Anyway, this one is most interesting to me since it has a unique mark on it which I will probably never know how or why it got there. First some details of the gun. On the top of the barrel it's marked: FOREHAND & WADSWORTH ARMS CO.
    PAT'D DEC. 7, 86 & JAN. 11, 87.
    It has a frame mounted firing pin which it free has a pin going through the frame hold the firing pin inside, double action or single action, wide hammer on top (bobbed hammer I'm guessing) black grips with the F&W logo and shield with stars in it and a big star in the center of the grips where the grip screw goes through. The unique mark I mentioned on it is on the bottom of the grip frame (see pictures)...not on the back strap. It looks to me like a file mark. It's a perfect file mark cut intentionally for whatever reason. Any thoughts??? From what research I have found I think this model revolver I have is called the PERFECTION AUTOMATIC but I could be wrong. There is another name I found called NEW MODEL AUTOMATIC SHELL EXTRACTING DOUBLE ACTION but I'm not sure or either of these names. Would the serial number off the gun be helpful? I would like to know exactly what model I have. Any help greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    F&W was just like all other manufacturer of top break revolvers, they had some form of auto-ejecting in the model name. the name "NEW MODEL AUTOMATIC SHELL EXTRACTING DOUBLE ACTION" is correct for this model. the two patent dates DEC. 7, 86 & JAN. 11, 87 were for patents #353948 & 355761 which were for top break revolvers and assigned to the F&W co.

    during thier short life 1887 to 1889 the F&W top break revolvers rivaled the S&W top breaks in quality. the F&W Co. was dissolved in 1890 and the forehand arms co was formed by sullivan forehand the surviving member of the earlier partnership. and the same products were continued but marked forehand arms co. quality seem to have slipped a little between 1890 and 1899 when the forehand arms co. was sold to Hopkins & allen.

    a word of warning all forehand & wadsworth and all forehand arms company products were made for black powder cartridge pressures.
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